I’m still not sure where I visited this week. I mean, I know that I went to a dispensary at Colfax and Forest Street. But was it CCF, a shop we reviewed back in 2012? The sign out front says so. Well, the big sign does. The smaller one below it says Tru Cannabis, as does the sign on the wall when you walk in the door. So it's one of the five Tru Cannabis locations around the metro area. But the website address? That’s still ColoradoCareFacility.com. Sort of, that is. It redirects you to Tru Cannabis.
Tru Cannabis (Colorado Care Facility)
5130 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80220
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. daily.
Raw marijuana price range: $9-$10/gram $25-$30/eighth-ounce, $150-$185/ounce.
Other types of medicine: BHO ($30 to $80/gram), edibles, tinctures, lotions, drinks.
Online menu? Yes.
Recreational sales? Yes.
Things have changed some since the days when the shop was only known as CCF. The place has gotten cleaner, more professional. Slick, even. The waiting room itself has been given a makeover with a few different hues of green paint on the walls, new leather chairs and couches. There's even a hand-painted Tru Cannabis mural on the west wall of the place. CCF was okay, but it was ragtag and sloppy. Menus and posters and notices and pictures taped up on the walls. Cluttered.
A tall, slim security guard was on hand to greet me when I walked in. He stood there while I fiddled with my wallet and then told me to move on over to the receptionist window upon seeing that I was a medical marijuana patient. The store does both rec and medical, with separate bud bars for both which means staffers can continue to serve medical patients aged eighteen to twenty. But no other patients were in front of me when I gave my purple card and ID to the woman behind the counter. Before long, I was buzzed through the security door to the medical bud bar — formerly the only one in the shop.
Waiting on the other side was arguably the most enthusiastic budtender I’ve ever had. Tanja was her name and pot was certainly her game; she knew the genetics, effects and flavors of the dozen or so strains on the shelf back and forth, and was just as well-versed on the amazing selection of concentrates on display. The shop is one of the Dab Stash locations, which basically means it's got a well-cultivated menu of hash oil, shatter and wax on display from four or five different companies, including 710 Labs, Venom, White Mouse, Top Shelf, The Lab and Epic Extracts. It was probably the most thorough, full and appealing concentrate display I’ve ever seen and even though I’ve been shying away from hash oil lately, I spent a good five minutes giving everything a look. Pricing ranged from $30 for a gram of wax all the way up to $80 for a gram of live plant resin. Tru Cannabis also carries a CBD oil that can best be described as looking like a sticky Kleenex after a powerful sneeze. The oil didn’t harden at room temperature (or even in a fridge) and the sap-like consistency means you’ll probably make a mess smoking it. But according to Tanja, it is the real deal: instant pain relief, instant relaxation. The shop also had high-CBD product offerings from Mary’s, including topical rubs and dermal patches.
Bud is kept spread out across two counters so the shop can serve multiple patients at once. There are two price tiers based on how well the plants produced — one at $25/eighth and $150 an ounce and the other at $30 an eighth and $185 an ounce. All very reasonable, especially if you’re looking to bulk up with a couple of ounces. Quality was spotty, though. Even Tanja couldn’t help but be honest about some strains, noting which ones didn’t meet her standards. Some jars were awesome and filled with ripe, plump buds. The Bruce Banner was solid, with massive, trichome-covered flowers that seemed almost white under the lights. I also thought the Bordello was unique, with marble-like buds that looked like they were rolled in tree sap and then given a healthy dusting of a sandy-colored trichomes.
Others were more middle-of-the-road. The Chemdawg missed the target by a mile in the smell department, but the little frosted bud pieces in the jar still managed to be appealing with their almost blue-hue and healthy spattering of trichomes. And finally, there were jars of shake that looked like lower quality than the $40 ounces of trim the shop also offers for those of you who cook with buds (and for old-timers who like rolling up lower-potency pot). The New York City Sour Diesel should have been pulled off the shelf two patients before me; the only thing left in the jar to offer were bits and pieces of sugar leaves and a few errant calxyes.
303 Headband was really, really headbandy. By that, I mean it felt like someone had wrapped the upper half of my cranium with elastic bands for the first twenty minutes after smoking a few hits for my first bowl of the day. The rest of the two-hour buzz was uplifting and buzzy with a good appetite boost for about 45 minutes. The buds themselves were somewhat wispy, but they had the forest green and sandy color that gives Sour Diesel, Chemdawg and Headband a distinct look. Flavor wasn’t the strongest, but the rubbery-lemon high notes came through well enough on green hits to make it enjoyable. At top tier pricing, it was still worth the money for something fresh to add to the stash at home.
While there’s a lot of Flo going around dispensaries, I had yet to see a truly interesting Flo cross before laying eyes on the spear-shaped massive buds of the Flight – a cross of Flo and the White. The heavy trichome coverage did seem to come from The White, while the coloring and hues of purple in the calxes were all Flo. The smell was heavy on the baby powder/lavender/wet potting soil Flo smell too, though the flavor was a muddled, hashy mix of flavors. It was a heavy hitter that put me in a daze for at least an hour after smoking. Not the best for getting things done, but perfect for forcing yourself to relax and for doing away with any annoying aches and pains. The buds were also priced on the lower tier, which make them more appealing for those on a budget.
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Overall, it was a different experience from CCF. Bud was better, service was solid and pricing was lower. It's not a connoisseur-level shop, but it's also worth doing more than driving past. In short: it feels like a new shop. So Tru Cannabis it is, it seems. First timers get a $10 discount on all purchases of $25 or more, so I ended up walking out of Tru Cannabis with an eighth’s worth of herb for $18.
And a receipt that says Colorado Care Facility on the top.